Article

Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 39-46

First online:

Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Pain: An Evidence-based Review

  • Nadya M. DhananiAffiliated withDepartment of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • , Thomas J. CarusoAffiliated withDepartment of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • , Adam J. CarinciAffiliated withDepartment of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Pain is one of the most prevalent conditions for which patients seek medical attention. Additionally, the number of patients who utilize complementary and alternative medicine as a treatment of pain either in lieu of, or concurrent with, standard conventional treatments continues to grow. While research into the mechanisms, side effect profiles, and efficacies of these alternative therapies has increased in recent years, much more remains unknown and untested. Herein, we review the literature on complementary and alternative medicine for pain, with particular emphasis on evidence-based assessments pertinent to the most common alternative therapies, including acupuncture, herbal therapy, massage therapy, hypnosis, tai chi, and biofeedback.

Keywords

Complementary medicine Alternative medicine Holistic Mind–Body Pain Pain treatment Acupuncture Herbal therapy Hypnosis Tai chi Massage therapy Biofeedback Evidence